Michael's Reviews > The Pharaoh Key

The Pharaoh Key by Douglas Preston
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The Pendergast novels by Preston and Child are some of the most fantastic stories dealing with suspense, action and often the mystical. Sometimes that mystical is explained away, but other times not.

The Gideon Crew novels are usually like the Pendergast novels but more on the lite side. This is, apparently, the last of the Crew novels and unfortunately the series is going out on a whimper rather than a bang.

Preston and Child are fabulous at taking the fantastic and allowing you to suspend your belief in reality. You can feel the chill in the air, taste the salt spray of ocean waves pounding the shore, sense the macabre and the fantastic with shivers up and down your spine in most of their Pendergast books.

This happens less so in the Crew novels but still they are a thumping good read for the most part. I found that to be even less so in #4, The Lost Island, and much less in this novel. I gave it an extra half star just out of respect for their previous works, both as collaborators and as sole novelist, but it deserved, at best, 2½ stars.

Our team of Crew and Garza go from improbable to more improbable situations with cliff hangers being resolved much like those old serials at the Saturday matinees, where the hero faced certain death at the end of the chapter only to be saved in the next with usually a ridiculous event. I remember one episode where the hero was about to be run down by an automobile when, in the next chapter it turns out that he laid down behind a bump in the road and the car sailed over him leaving him unscathed. Right. Sure. Don't try this at home folks.

So too, Gideon and Garza and an interloper name Imogene (there always has to be a damsel, not so much in distress but certainly pretty to attract Gideon's attention) face end of the world, cataclysmic events only to be saved at the last moments by a figurative bump in the road.

As usual there are treasures of one sort or another to be had. What kinds of treasures you ask? Read the book! Or not. I can truly say read or not read. If you want to read the very last of a series then by all means, read. If you don't want to be disappointed then maybe you shouldn't read.

I saw the ending of this story well before the final page. It, like those old serials (he says showing his age) was fairly obvious. The only suspense was what kind of bump in the road were our intrepid heroes going to hide behind. And some were as ludicrous as that bump in the road in the old serial. The only problem is that I wasn't a young boy willing to believe as easily as I was then.

I don't mind the fantastical, the hard to believe depending upon how it's presented. I love fantasy novels/serials, from the Harry Potter books to the world of Pern. This just didn't have it for me.

RIP Gideon Crew series and Mr. Child, Mr. Preston, give me another great Pendergast story. I know you can do it, you've done it before and. . . WAIT! Verses Of The Dead is coming out on December 31st! There is light at the end of the tunnel! Good job guys!
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Reading Progress

November 24, 2018 – Started Reading
November 26, 2018 – Shelved
November 26, 2018 – Finished Reading

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